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Arts Editor’s picks: April/May

By Samuel Spencer –

Face the strange (and fascinating ch-ch-changes of this year’s biggest exhibition.) As I wrote about the show:
“Everything is here – from the classic outfits that seemed to come from the Planet Transsexual long before the Rocky Horror Picture Show (with my particular highlight being a catsuit made from not much more than string and gold hand mannequins…) to his 2003 tour costumes, from hand-written lyrics to the computer program he built to randomly generate lyrics in the 1990s, from a publicity shot of one of his earliest bands (the ill-fated Kon-Rads) to the initial sleeve designs for The Next Day…basically, enough to send a fanboy like me into palpitations!”

Macbeth, Trafalgar Studios. Until April 27th, tickets from £15.
Toil and trouble from the bloodiest of the Bard’s oeuvre, featuring Mr Tumnus’s most power-crazed turn yet. As Emily Folkes wrote:
“Here we saw a revolutionary performance as the audiences witnessed the blood-driven, ambitious and terrifying portrayal of Macbeth. McAvoy, I believe, picks up Macbeth’s tortured conscious like no other has done before, creating a futuristic albeit realistic and timeless interpretation. Here was a character who was not an immature Hamlet.”

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, Tate Modern. Until May 27th, tickets from £13.50.
A comprehensive look that shows there’s more to his art than just spots and dots. Or as Jessy Howard and Anna Hutchinson put it:
“Lichtenstein was, hands down, one of the best exhibitions we have seen this year. Not only did it give us what we came for with the blown-up comic book panels and weeping blondes, it also made us reconsider what we thought we knew about pop art. Lichtenstein was trying to show in the 1960s the relationship between Stuff and Art which is just as relevant now as it was 50 years ago. And more than that, it was fun.”

Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind, British Museum. Until May 26th, tickets from £8.
Questionable use of modern art, but a fascinating look into art’s very beginnings full of stunning objects. Reviewed last issue by Maria Blundell:
“Whilst Ice Age Art’s referral to modern art isn’t requisite to the success of this exhibition and only seldom illuminates the objects at hand, this interesting, albeit at times unconvincing, comparison nevertheless does enable this magnificent display to stand apart from typical museum rows of faded, dusty archeological findings”

People, National Theatre (Lyttleton Stage). Until May 15th, tickets from £5.
True, it’s hardly revolutionary, but it is Bennett at his witty, whimsical best, and the most fun I’ve had in a theatre for a while. (Review coming soon..)


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